Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Crossing the Saverne Gap in three attempts

Memoir  '44 is a pretty good game. It may have it's limits as a simulation of WWII combat, but it creates a tense conflict.

First game: foolishly attacking through the centre

With the inherent advantage of the defender, the weight is on the attacker to methodically execute his attack. However, contrary to contemporary practice there isn't much you can do in planning, and you have to manage your hand as well as possible to create short busts of activity in each area of the board.

You want to know how I know? Well, I had to relearn it all.

Second game: much better start...

It took me three attempts to finally beat Michiel at the Saverne Gap scenario.

First try was a shambles, with no focus and bad dice rolls. I couldn't even kill a single German unit before my attack ground down in defeat.

Second game: ... but then lost focus and still got beat
The second time, at least I tried to shift the weight of my attack from flank to flank and centre. However, I missed the big learning point of this scenario, which is that you don't attack in the centre. So it went real close, but Micheal had the edge and won again.

Third game: left hook, right hook, out!

So in my third attempt, I dispensed with an attack in the center, although I occasionally  unloaded some fire on a forward post, but the real damage was done on the flanks and Michiel's sally with his panzers to the support of his left flank offered me a juicy target that I could destroy with ease. Victory at last.

Of course, Devers might have sacked me somewhere before my third attempt, but he was not as harsh a task master as Patton.


  1. Jur if you liked the "I have cards in my hand that have no relation whatsoever towards the tactical problem on the board" way of playing in Memoir, you should give Combat Commander by GMT a try. It's a mix of cards and counters on dedicated scenario maps with an incredible random scenario generator which gives almost unlimited playability. But with no tanks or vehicles....

    1. Hi René, CC might be a better simuation, but I'm not sure it works better as a game with the guy I played against. My continuing problem with 'simulations' of warfare (miniature or boardgame) is tht there is too much detail, too much process, not enough meaningful decisions. It also has too high an entry point for most people. And while Michiel happily picked up on this, he has balked at heavier wargames.

      I appreciate the way in which Memoir 44 tries to represent the fog of war and fleeting opportunities by managing your card hand. It is not unsimilar to the way Up Front does is, and fundamentally not much different from the tea break system in Too Fat Lardies games.


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